Numbers can be a problem for Great Neck South football, but those who do show up to preseason training camps have no shortage of commitment.
The Rebels are young and somewhat inexperienced. There are just a handful of seniors on the team who have the job of both being productive and teaching the underclassmen how to succeed on the field.
“Some of the juniors I’ve seen come up this year are looking really good,” said Karan Thadhani, a senior tight end and linebacker. “Some of the sophomores are making a good push for the varsity team. They’ve looked good in drills.”
Even the juniors are taking on leadership roles. Linebacker Josh Gal is doing his best to help the newcomers improve.
“I’m pushing them. I push harder at practice,” he said. “All of them are doing well after being out here every day.”
The Rebels were 0-8 last season. Their last-place ranking in Nassau Conference II doesn’t necessarily elicit positivity for this fall, nor does the fact that finding consistent contributors has proven difficult for coaches Mark Green and Mike Passuello.
But the ones who show up for camp work tirelessly. They show the same energy and commitment in offensive sets as they do in grueling conditioning drills.
“We’re practicing a lot harder now,” said sophomore guard Ryan Concha. “We’re constantly pumping on the sleds. Instead of going on the sleds for 10 or 15 minutes, we’re going 20 or 25 minutes.”
Everyone on the practice field seemed committed to improvement and preparation.
Quarterbacks Christopher Kaczynski, a junior, and Isaac Hamooz, a sophomore, are still in competition for the starting job, though Green said that the “loser” of the battle would still contribute as a wide receiver. Each has been working on grasping the offense and passing accurately.
A regular season schedule featuring two matchups against Great Neck North and one against Jericho will give the Rebels a chance to showcase their competitive side.
“We always try to be ready for everyone, Concha said. “We might not win all the time, but we’ll be ready.”